Author Topic: How high is Mount Everest?  (Read 1310 times)

Wowbagger

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How high is Mount Everest?
« on: September 11, 2020, 10:22:02 am »
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/11/mount-everest-nepal-and-china-prepare-to-reveal-new-height-after-covid-delay

When I were a lad, I always believed it to be 29,002 feet in height. That's 8.8398096km. It seems, however, that a 1955 survey suggested 29,029 feet and that this was confirmed in 1975. Now we are awaiting the latest height.

Tectonic plate activity, the entire reason the Himalayas exist, makes the mountains grow constantly. Then, of course, erosion does its job, so the height needs to be re-evaluated on a fairly regular basis. And do you measure from the level of the rock, or the ice & snow?

I heard once on a Youtube lecture by some allegedly eminent geologist that the reason the atmosphere was constantly having its CO2 levels gradually reduced was down to the Himalayan rocks absorbing the gas. As new rocks are exposed, so the CO2 levels drop. Then some vandal started the industrial revolution.

Have any forummers climbed it?
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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2020, 10:32:57 am »
Of equal interest is where do you measure it from? Sea level isn’t very level, nor is it constant and given that Everest isn’t exactly close to any sea, it could be debated which seating should be measured from. If a sea is decided as the datum of course.

I seem to remember there was also some debate in the 70s or 80s that K2 was actually higher, though that could have been a datum argument. I could be misremembering that of course.

ETA: a quick google later and Wikinaccurate tells me K2s claim to being taller than Everest is based on an inaccurate measurement of the same in 1986 which was corrected by an accurate measurement the following year.
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fboab

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2020, 10:37:07 am »
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Jaded

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2020, 10:38:37 am »
It will be getting shorter as the sea is rising.
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ElyDave

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2020, 11:28:42 am »
ISTR reading soenthing around it being measured from space these days using lasers or something, rather than using a very long ruler
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Tim Hall

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2020, 11:44:24 am »
I think I met someone who climbed it on Wednesday.

(Let's un-pick that. I definitely met some one on Wednesday at a site meeting.  Looking his name upon Teh Intarwebs there's someone of the same name who works in that locality who has climbed Everest. If I had a decent memory for faces I'd be able to say if the person I met was the person on Teh Intarwebs. I don't know which day of the week he climbed it.)
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Salvatore

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2020, 11:59:13 am »
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/11/mount-everest-nepal-and-china-prepare-to-reveal-new-height-after-covid-delay

When I were a lad, I always believed it to be 29,002 feet in height.

I'm sure I once read that when its height was first calculated (by people with theodolites and then by rooms full of people with log tables and the like) it came out at exactly 29,000 feet. But because that sounded improbable (or gave the impression that it had been calculated to the nearest 1000 ft) they added another couple of feet for added authenticity.

No, I haven't climbed Everest.
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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2020, 12:08:49 pm »
I mountain biked to base camp on the Tibetan side in 2001. Base camp is 5,200m and bit. Some of the passes on the way there are higher. Highest I’ve climbed is Baruntse, (Nepalese side) which is 7,200m and in sight of Everest a few miles away. That was 1995. A fellow climber on that trip was aiming to climb Everest but no idea if they succeeded.

As well as theodolites they boiled water to calculate  the altitude of the positions they were measuring from.

Mr Larrington

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2020, 12:32:46 pm »
8,848 metres.

A few decades back there was a big furore when someone claimed that K2 was actually higher than Everest and many people, including quite a lot of dead ones, wondered whether they’d climbed the wrong mountain.  And the people who were making money out of guiding wealthy idiots up the Yak Route breathed a sigh of relief when the numbers were rechecked and K2 was found to be really titchy after all.
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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2020, 12:36:19 pm »
According to Zwift I am 19% on my way to the top.
Sic transit and all that..

Wowbagger

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2020, 01:32:17 pm »
A few years ago, I cycled across the Cairngorms in the company of JenM of this parish, and  friend of hers, NOTP. One night, in Tomintoul hostel, we shared a dormitory with a chap who had climbed the Old Man of Hoy. I suspect that that is a much more exclusive club that those who have climbed Everest.
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quixoticgeek

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2020, 01:44:46 pm »


Pfft. Everyone knows that Chimborazo is the more significant peak... it is after all the highest point from the centre of the earth...

:p

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Jaded

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2020, 02:07:09 pm »
A few years ago, I cycled across the Cairngorms in the company of JenM of this parish, and  friend of hers, NOTP. One night, in Tomintoul hostel, we shared a dormitory with a chap who had climbed the Old Man of Hoy. I suspect that that is a much more exclusive club that those who have climbed Everest.

I know someone who was involved in the first filmed ascent of ToMoH.
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ian

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2020, 02:12:31 pm »
Honestly, it looks like a grim experience, crowds of mostly rich kids being traipsed up a dangerous mountain by weary locals who need the cash.
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Cudzoziemiec

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2020, 02:48:33 pm »
The reason that the highest mountains are mostly in equatorial regions is because snow weight compresses the rocks. So the lower the height of the snow line, the taller the mountain has potential to be. Snow also erodes rock of course. So we can expect some other mountains to get higher with global warming. Maybe.
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Wowbagger

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2020, 02:53:24 pm »
A few years ago, I cycled across the Cairngorms in the company of JenM of this parish, and  friend of hers, NOTP. One night, in Tomintoul hostel, we shared a dormitory with a chap who had climbed the Old Man of Hoy. I suspect that that is a much more exclusive club that those who have climbed Everest.

I know someone who was involved in the first filmed ascent of ToMoH.

...which was probably my favourite bit of television from the 1960s. Wonderful stuff. *Wasn't that the first ascent, not just the first filmed ascent? It's technically very difficult because the rock is so crumbly.

*No, it wasn't. Bonington climbed it a year or two before the filmed climb, and that was the first. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Man_of_Hoy
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ian

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2020, 02:58:02 pm »
The reason that the highest mountains are mostly in equatorial regions is because snow weight compresses the rocks. So the lower the height of the snow line, the taller the mountain has potential to be. Snow also erodes rock of course. So we can expect some other mountains to get higher with global warming. Maybe.

The theory of plate tectonics, despite seeming fairly obvious now, was widely disparaged for many years (it was first suggested in 1915), it wasn't until the late 1950s – early 1960s that it started to gain support (with newer seismological imaging techniques).
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Cudzoziemiec

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2020, 03:04:26 pm »
Yes. The snow findings are within the last year or so.
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andytheflyer

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2020, 03:09:03 pm »
The reason that the highest mountains are mostly in equatorial regions is because snow weight compresses the rocks. So the lower the height of the snow line, the taller the mountain has potential to be. Snow also erodes rock of course. So we can expect some other mountains to get higher with global warming. Maybe.

The theory of plate tectonics, despite seeming fairly obvious now, was widely disparaged for many years (it was first suggested in 1915), it wasn't until the late 1950s – early 1960s that it started to gain support (with newer seismological imaging techniques).
As a geologist (retd) I should know for sure, but I thought that the plate tectonics hypothesis began to be accepted as proven after magnetic mapping of the Atlantic showed up the north/south reversal stripes either side of the mid Atlantic ridge.  Sea floor spreading was the only way to explain these phenomena, and hence the movement of the plates.  This all came to pass only a few years before I went to Uni, and whilst it was accepted by then, it was a bit of a revelation. 

IIRC, the magnetic mapping was a side-effect of wartime activity by the Navy, and carried on after the war.

But since I can't remember what I did last week, my memory could be defective on the subject.  I could look it up, but, I can't remember where.........

ian

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2020, 03:19:31 pm »
I confess, I base my knowledge on a book about the 'controversy' but that was probably decades ago. By the time I was at school it was incontestible so it was interesting that they were still battling it out a few decades before. If I recall, there were still some holdouts well in the 1960s.
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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2020, 03:28:21 pm »
A few years ago, I cycled across the Cairngorms in the company of JenM of this parish, and  friend of hers, NOTP. One night, in Tomintoul hostel, we shared a dormitory with a chap who had climbed the Old Man of Hoy. I suspect that that is a much more exclusive club that those who have climbed Everest.

Have you seen this? A blind climber leading all the pitches of Old Man of Hoy.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000jb7t

P.S. I’ve led the Old Man of Hoy. It’s about E1 / E2 in UK trad grades.

Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2020, 03:31:52 pm »
8,848 metres.

A few decades back there was a big furore when someone claimed that K2 was actually higher than Everest and many people, including quite a lot of dead ones, wondered whether they’d climbed the wrong mountain.  And the people who were making money out of guiding wealthy idiots up the Yak Route breathed a sigh of relief when the numbers were rechecked and K2 was found to be really titchy after all.

You have about a 29% chance of dying attempting K2, whilst you have about a 4% chance of dying attempting Everest. K2 isn’t known as the savage mountain for no reason.

Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2020, 03:44:15 pm »
8,848 metres.

A few decades back there was a big furore when someone claimed that K2 was actually higher than Everest and many people, including quite a lot of dead ones, wondered whether they’d climbed the wrong mountain.  And the people who were making money out of guiding wealthy idiots up the Yak Route breathed a sigh of relief when the numbers were rechecked and K2 was found to be really titchy after all.

You have about a 29% chance of dying attempting K2, whilst you have about a 4% chance of dying attempting Everest. K2 isn’t known as the savage mountain for no reason.

I'd imagine you are more likely to catch covid 19 on Everest.
Sic transit and all that..

Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2020, 03:54:17 pm »
I seem to remember reading about a mountain probably 20 or so years ago which at one point had a 50% fatality rate for summit attempts but the guy was planning a different and hopefully safer route. Possibly called anapunia and translated as the Harvest Mountain.

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: How high is Mount Everest?
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2020, 03:59:41 pm »
Annapurna?
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